Chicks Unravel Time REVIEW

Chicks Unravel Time book review: Because women are Doctor Who fans too

Chicks Unravel Time.


Release Date: 13 November 2012
272 pages | £12.46
Editors: Deborah Stanish and L M Myles
Publisher: Mad Norwegian Press

Mad Norwegian Press’s earlier book, Chicks Dig Time Lords, was a bit of a mish-mash of female fans’ thoughts on and recollections of Doctor Who. This new volume is much more coherent: a series of 34 essays, each covering one season of the show, from 1963 to present, again all by female authors.

There’s certainly a varied selection of thoughts and ideas, and though some read a little too like high school English essays, others are thought-provoking tributes. “No Competition”, by Una McCormack, uses season 26 (Sylvester McCoy’s final series) as a way to consider Who’s ethos of co-operation being essential for survival. Tansy Rayner Roberts mounts an impassioned defence of the “Trial Of A Time Lord” season that might not convince but makes some interesting points (and at least acknowledges that “Terror of the Vervoids” remains unforgivable).

The conceit of the volume – being written solely by women – is an interesting one. Many of the essays discuss feminism (or lack of) within Who, and others look at the series’ sometimes iffy treatment of various minorities. Other pieces are less directed, but it’s still an important idea. When almost every reference work on the show is written by men and women in fandom are often ignored, or assumed to only be in it to ogle David Tennant, books like this do a great job of restoring the balance. Written as a love letter to a series that women can understand and adore just as much as men, this is a long-overdue book – and one that’ll make you want to rewatch the entire series when you’re done.

Rhian Drinkwater twitter.com/rhian82

Read our Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss review (it’s an ebook!).
Read our Doctor Who: A History Of The Universe In 100 Objects review.
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